Does anybody really know what time it is?

February 21, 2019

Hi, friends of H & A! Do you know what time it is? Time is important to everyone. Time is money and money is time. Many people have smart watches or very expensive, luxury watches nowadays. We don’t carry around huge sundials, or get to a lunch date 2 hours late (at least not because of our timepieces!). We take for granted telling time with today's ease and accuracy. To get to where we are with watch technology, it took centuries upon centuries. Let’s take a journey through time.

 

4th-5th Century

  • The earliest evidence of portable watches was found in Rome. Romans used portable sundials when they traveled. However, the downside was that they would only work on nice, sunny days.

     

     

     

 

 

9th Century

  • In late 9th century England, King Alfred the Great used candles to mark time. The candles would all be the same length and were burned through to mark an hour. This method was VERY inaccurate.

     

     

     

 

 

15th Century

  • Strides were made with watch technology and the mainspring was created in Europe. These were used in portable spring-driven clocks. Candles were no longer utilized. 

     

     

     

16th Century

  • Peter Henlein was one of the first people to create a clock watch. These were often worn as pendants or in the pocket. They lost as much as 3 hours a day. 

     

     

     

 

 

17th Century

  • Time became more accurate with the invention of the balance spring and fusee. Accuracy was improved to about ±10 minutes. The minute hand was also added to watches.

     

     

     

     

 

 

18th Century

  • Accuracy was improved once again when the cylinder escapement and tooth cutting machine were invented. This also allowed for increased production of watches.

     

     

     

 

19th Century

  • Wrist watches are worn and popularized during this time. The fusee was replaced with the going barrel. During the late 19th century, the military adopts wristwatches to be used during war.

     

     

     

 

 

1900's- 1949

  • Due to the use of watches in war, the public viewed watches as a men’s product and production was increased to meet demand. The self winding system was developed in 1923.

     

     

     

 

 

1950’s

  • Electric watches were being developed and Seiko developed the first working prototype of the electric watch.

     

     

     

     

 

 

1960-1989

  • Germans were able to achieve accuracy to within 1 second by introducing the atomic wristwatch by Junghans. The wristwatch used radio signals from the atomic clock in Frankfurt. This was the most accurate time in 100,000 years.

     

     

     

 

 

2000- Present

  • Computer technology based watches are introduced.

     

     

     

 

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